But we don't want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep, so that you don't grieve like the rest, who have no hope. -1 Thessalonians 4:13 (NIV)
"We lost Dad today." "Grandma passed away." "I'm sorry, but she's gone." "He's gone to his eternal rest."
Death. Why is it so hard to say the word? Why is it so hard to say a loved one has died? Is it because the word sounds so final and we can't bear the thought of never seeing the person again? Or, is it because, although it sounds so final, it's really not, and we don't want to imply that it is?
Death is not our final act. For the Christian, it is the gateway to a new and better life. God the Father, Daniel, Job, Paul, and Jesus all referred to death as "sleep." We "go to sleep" here and wake up in heaven with Jesus. What a glorious thought!
We can say with the Apostle Paul, "Death is swallowed up in victory" and "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Death is not a bad thing. We may not like the timing, but it is our ticket to the greatest homecoming we'll ever have!
Thank you, O God, for Christ's victory over death. Help us to encourage those around us who grieve the death of a loved one. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Thought for the Day
Who can I comfort today with Paul's words?
Those in their final days of life on earth
Copyright 2006, Star Ferdinand.
Star Ferdinand is the author of The Prayerful Bible Study Series of study guides, numerous devotionals, and other Christian writings. You can read more of her writings at starferdinand.wordpress.com.